Is solitary confinement torture?

After reports that Paul Manafort was facing solitary confinement at the Rikers Island jail complex in her congressional district, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the former Trump campaign chairman should be released from solitary, which she and others call "torture." Prisoners in solitary confinement are secluded from the general prison population and have little to no contact with other inmates. A 2017 study found there were roughly 61,000 people in the U.S. held in this forced isolation. Advocates for the use of solitary say it is a necessary tool for maintaining order and safety within a prison. Critics of the practice say prolonged isolation causes significant and lasting psychological damage, which could be a violation of the ban on cruel and unusual punishment in the Constitution.